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UK Parliament offers one year deadline for complaints of bullying – POLITICO

LONDON – Parliamentary staff in the UK will no longer be able to complain about incidents of alleged bullying that happened more than a year earlier, under rule changes that will come into effect next month.

Currently, the Independent Grievance and Complaint System (ICGS) is open to all historical claims of bullying against anyone working in Westminster, but that will soon be limited to the past year. in a move designed to prevent “disgusting” claims.

Allegations of sexual misconduct will not have a time limit.

Under the new rules, an investigation on Tuesday that found former House Speaker John Bercow subjected staff to “severe and prolonged” bullying would not be possible. Twenty-one complaints of threatening behavior were perpetuated by the investigation in relation to events more than five years ago.

Given the time limit last year, then-Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg argued that parliament had “once again set a higher-than-expected standard in the external workforce”. compared to the three-month deadline for employment court claims.

The change was agreed without a vote and took effect on April 28.

The FDA’s Jawad Raza, one of a number of unions representing congressional staff, said: “We strongly oppose introducing a time limit for filing complaints of bullying behavior. and harassment of members of Congress.”

He added that the change risks “undermining trust” for those who may need to use the complaints system.

Jenny Symmons of the GMB union branch for staff of MPs, said: “These events can be seriously traumatizing for victims. Facing pressure to report within a year when it could take longer to process what happened is unreasonable.”

Robert Rogers, one of the complainants in the Bercow case, said that while not his place to advise the Commons, “I am delighted for the opportunity to address the specific model and lengthy chapter on behavior this serious misconduct.”

Jenny McCullough, whose historic complaint against former Labor MP Keith Vaz was upheld last year, said: “The program should continue to receive non-recent complaints… some staff still don’t. have enough faith, either in the show itself or in the culture of the House, to make a complaint. ”

She warned that “there are non-recent cases that have yet to be reported.”

Speaker of the House of Representatives said parliament behavior code along with the ICGS “clarifies the standards of behavior to be expected” and has a “zero tolerance for abuse or harassment”.

Bercow showed no remorse following an independent panel of experts’ verdict on his conduct, which denounced it as a “betrayal of justice” based on “obscenity.”

His congressional passport has now been revoked, leaving him barred from the estate.

Two former congressional officials said Bercow’s behavior had implications for parliament as a whole, arguing that he was reluctant to pursue complaints of bullying against other MPs because the behavior was dangerous. chance to expose him.

This, they say, discourages victims from complaining and becomes a culture of silence. A representative for Bercow did not respond to a request for comment.

The complaint system was set up in 2018 amid reports of widespread misconduct at Westminster.

An investigation by former Supreme Court justice Laura Cox revealed “a culture, hierarchical from the top, of respect, humility, tolerance and silence, in which bullying, harassment and Sexual harassment has been able to thrive and has long been tolerated and hidden. ”

https://www.politico.eu/article/uk-parliament-time-limit-on-bullying-complaints-john-bercow/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication UK Parliament offers one year deadline for complaints of bullying - POLITICO

Fry Electronics Team

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